CARD FACTORY shares fell seven per cent yesterday as the greeting cards retailer made its debut on the London Stock Exchange.
The Wakefield-based business floated at 225p a share, giving it a market capitalisation of £766m at the start of conditional dealings.
The initial public offering – reportedly at the lower end of price guidance – raised £90m for the company and more than £200m for the selling shareholders.
Richard Hayes, chief executive, said: “The bottom line is from a long-term perspective, the fundamentals of this business are very strong. I have no doubt that if we keep delivering as we have over the last 10 years that will be reflected in the share price.”
He said the management team is very focused on growing the business by rolling out new stores and developing the retail proposition.
The management team has retained a stake in the business, holding 19.2 per cent of ordinary shares, as private equity backer Charterhouse, which will hold 41.3 per cent.
Mr Hayes added: “We are committed to it through that share allocation.”
Card Factory has been one of corporate Yorkshire’s stand-out performers in recent years and took the decision to join other retailers in seeking to tap public markets as consumer confidence improves.